Defymed

Defymed, a spin-off of the CeeD (Centre européen d’étude du Diabète de Strasbourg), is a company that develops and markets innovative implantable medical devices that deliver therapeutic compounds through a physiological route to improve clinical efficacy and patients comfort, with a first focus on Diabetes. There are currently two medical devices being developed by Defymed which are at an advanced preclinical trial phase: MailPan® a bioartificial pancreas and ExOlin® a physiological insulin delivery device. Defymed owns an exclusive technology know-how that allows to efficiently customize its medical devices in order to meet several therapeutic applications. Defymed has also all the necessary skills to assess the performance of its medical devicesex vivo or in vivo in rodents, due to its infrastructure (shared with the CeeD which possesses very modern laboratories and a 200 m2 animal housing) and its expertise in diabetes. Moreover, Defymed has the experience in islets isolation from rodents. Defymed relies also on a strong and unique network gathering experts from the cell therapy field but also from the medical technology field. Defymed has been rewarded several times in France, in Europe and the USA, which helped to increase its reputation in the field of diabetes medical devices worldwide and to mount international collaborations and raise funds, in order to accelerate the development its products.

Research interests

Defymed is a French SME that develops innovative medical devices aimed at treating patients physiologically in order to improve the clinical effectiveness of their treatment as well as their comfort. Defymed is a spin-off of the Centre européen d’étude du Diabète (European center for diabetes studies), which began work on a bioartificial pancreas in 1996. Today, Defymed focuses on diabetes, which is considered to be one of the major epidemics of the 21st century.

Dr. Séverine Sigrist

Dr. Séverine Sigrist

Dr. Séverine Sigrist, Chief Executive and Scientific Officer. Séverine founded Defymed in 2011 and has since participated in the growth and international expansion of the start-up. With more than 20 years of scientific and management experience, Séverine puts her expertise at the service of Defymed’s development. She is ably supported by a motivated, proactive multidisciplinary team, guaranteeing the success of Defymed. She holds a doctorate in life sciences from the University of Strasbourg and is the author of more than 50 scientific publications and several patents. As the director of the laboratory of the Centre européen d’étude du Diabète(European center for diabetes study), she has proven experience in management and project management. She has launched many projects dealing with type 1 and type 2 diabetes: survival of pancreatic islets after isolation, oral insulin therapy, macro-encapsulation of insulin-secreting cells, etc. As president of the health competitiveness cluster, Alsace Biovalley, since 2014, she is involved in promoting the innovation of Alsatian SMEs and their international competitiveness. In 2012, she was designated to be a « golden woman » by winning the Women in Innovation award, receiving the Rhineland Science Academy award and was made a Knight of the National Order of Merit in 2013. In 2014, she won the Irène Joliot Curie competition in the « Women in Business » category. As a result of these honors, Séverine has earned national and international recognition.

Dr. Richard Bouaoun

Dr. Richard Bouaoun

Dr. Richard Bouaoun, Chief Operating Officer. Richard was with Defymed before its creation and joined the company from its inception in 2011. Within excess of 10 years’ experience in scientific research and support for innovative biotechnology start-ups, Richard was involved with Defymed from the very start in the company’s strategic choices, coordinating collaborative scientific programs, raising funds and monitoring the numerous institutional and industrial partnerships. He has a doctorate in molecular and cellular biology under the direction of Prof Jules Hoffmann (Nobel Prize winner) and a master’s degree in innovative project management from the Strasbourg school of management. Prior to joining Defymed, Richard was a project manager of the SEMIA business incubator that specializes in strategic support for creating or developing innovative biotechnology start-ups. Teacher and coach in start-up strategy at the University of Strasbourg, Richard is also a former member of the board of the Field Service Medical Europe. He was also co-host of the Alsatian network of the « innovation winners », demonstrating his great interest in breakthrough innovations in the medical field.